I Want a Divorce and Have No Idea How to Go About It
If you’re considering divorce, you are not alone. Many of us have heard the statistics related to unhappy and dissolving marriages. But this is something you’ve never done before, and something on which you certainly are no expert. So how should you proceed? A local Baltimore family attorney can help you as you proceed through this unfamiliar territory.
Think it Through
First things first: is this what you really want? Divorce, like marriage, is serious business. It will involve time and money, and plenty of stress. Your life will be forever changed if you terminate your marriage. So be sure you’re making the right decision for you. Beyond the emotional considerations, make sure you meet residency requirements in order to qualify for a Maryland divorce.
Decide on Grounds for Filing
If you can demonstrate that adultery, criminal behavior, insanity, cruelty or viciousness, or desertion are the reasons you wish to divorce, you may decide to pursue divorce on these grounds. There may be costs to this strategy, as well as long-term benefits. Proving that your spouse is guilty of one of these attributes will require more time and expense than a no-fault divorce, but may lead to a more favorable settlement for you in the end:
- Property division decisions may lean your way;
- Custody considerations may be weighed in your favor.
On the other hand, a no-fault divorce will assign no blame to either party, and you will have no particular advantage in terms of custody or property issues.
Filing for Divorce
It will be necessary to complete several forms in order to file for divorce, and to assemble financial documents such as tax forms, property deeds, childcare information, insurance information, and more. You will also need to determine whether you wish to seek a limited divorce (legal separation) or an absolute divorce (complete dissolution of the union).
File Forms and Serve Papers
Your forms must now be filed with the court, and your spouse must be served with copies of all the forms you’ve filled out. In the best case, your partner will sign and return the Writ of Summons. In the event your spouse cannot be located or things don’t go according to plan, your attorney can help you with alternative actions.
Determine Property Division and other Issues
At this point, if you haven’t already done so, you and your spouse will have to contemplate the details of the split. If things are amicable, it will go quickly. In the event there are serious disagreements, negotiations may get lengthy and ultimately, a judge may have to decide on how things pan out.
The Court Hearing
Once the court hearing or trial is scheduled, a judge will listen to the evidence and make rulings related to the termination of the marriage. A divorce decree will formalize the action, and you are bound by law to abide by it.
Helping you Through
At the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, LLC in Baltimore, our experienced attorneys will guide you through this difficult life experience with consideration and professionalism. Contact us for a confidential consultation today.